2 Lovebirds (7 months & 4 months) not getting along as good as they should

WhiskeyNebula

New member
Jan 16, 2021
5
0
London
Parrots
2 White-faced Lovebirds
Whiskey
&
Nebula
Hi there,


first post after my introduction and I have a question for anyone that knows a lot more about lovebirds than I do (which will be a lot of you haha).


I got my first lovebird - Nebula - in June last year. We went with only one as a start, in order to see how my flatmates get along with a bird. I have been working from home (pandemmy is whammy) anyway and I had time to take care of her and spend time with her all day. We still had to feed her babyfood for a while and she grew super tame and lovable and she is basically completely linked with us now.


Then in November we decided that a second bird is necessary. It´s not good for Nebula to never have any other of her kind. Either way, we got Whiskey and the same procedure. We still had to feed her babyfood and she grew just as tame.


Here´s the thing now that makes me kinda sad:


At first, Nebula was intrigued by the new baby but as time grew she became more irritated. There were never any true bites or her going for her leg or anything, so I was assuming it´s just a dominance thing.



However, they´ve known each other 4 months now and I still have to keep them in separated cages. Most of the day, when they´re out - it´s fine. Whiskey follows Nebula everywhere (seriously, everywhere) and they get along. But then there´s moments where they just fight and start going for each other´s leg and not stopping unless I chime in.


These moments are clearly when it comes to things that they don´t want to share. Like being on us or their favourite climbing bag (my former work-bag now...) and so forth.


I never had the chance to do the "cage-trick" where I leave one of them in the cage and let the other safely approach but that was mostly because they never really were in a cage unless for food, water and sleeping. I basically built a giant plaground in and around the 2 cages that they can play around with. Thing is, I did "try" but Nebula just ignores her.



Here´s my question:
What can I do to make them get along?


Few more notes to help the situation:
- They´ve never made each other bleed or hurt each other (yet). It´s just that - especially Nebula - goes for the other´s legs which is definitely not a good fight thing to do
- I tried treats to make them sympathise and it works. They can eat in peace and even share peanuts without going at each other. But as soon as it comes to us, it´s all over again with the truce
- They don´t seem to communicate with each other a lot. They´re current cage set-up has them right next to each other. I decided to leave them in the cage for longer times (slowly getting there) and basically "forcing" them to interact with each other as the only alternative is nothing which can´t be what they want. BUT, I only hear them both tweet for us every now and then (the loud "Attention" scream they do) but never just babble with each other.


Whiskey does like her and I even had a situation where she desperately wanted to preen Nebula. But Nebula didn´t see it coming and thought it was an attack and immediately retalitated. It was really sad. :(





If anyone has had similar situations, please help me out! Whatever I can do to make them like each other, I will do what I can!


Thank you for any help! If you need any more info, please do let me know!


Best,


Martin
 

saxguy64

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Okay... I don't have lovebird experience, but here's the thing. Parrots are like kids. Each has their own personality, likes, dislikes, etc. Much though we might try, we can't force their decisions. The best, and many would say, only reason to get a second bird, is because YOU want one. There are no guarantees that they will get along. Here's a link that might be helpful: http://www.parrotforums.com/training/74214-introducing-second-bird.html
Not to say that they'll never get along, or at least tolerate each other's existence, but it's best to be prepared for the possibility that they won't.

I have two birds, both rescues. It wasn't my plan. The adoption process involved many visits, as it should, to ensure it's a good match. Tucker, my Ekkie, came first, but during the visits, I was chosen by a beautiful YNA, Baxter. She finally persuaded me to take her home too. Zero regrets, I love them both dearly, and they're extremely bonded to me. Tucker wants desperately to be friends with, or at least a servant, to Baxter. It's a male Ekkie thing... Unfortunately, Baxter wants no part of it. Those big beaks can do some serious damage, so they can't be out of their cages at the same time. At all. I make it work though, and just divide the time between them. They each get individual "daddy time" and it's all good.

So, in your case, what you have going on is certainly more manageable than my situation in that, yours can spend out of cage time together, with supervision. Not uncommon for them to be protective of what's "theirs." That could be their cage, toys, or their person. Good to each have their own space for their safety too.

Another thought. Dominance. Generally doesn't exist in the world of parrots. They're not dogs, and it's not about being "alpha." It's more about personality, preference, and learned response. They're so intelligent, they learn what works for a given situation, and use it to their advantage. Behaviorally, if their actions aren't what you want or expect, it's not their fault. As we commonly say around here, it's never the fault of the parrot, it's always the fault of the human. That perspective will help you see situations from their point of view, and makes it easier to find solutions.

Sorry this turned in to a book, hope it's helpful to you. :)
 
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WhiskeyNebula

New member
Jan 16, 2021
5
0
London
Parrots
2 White-faced Lovebirds
Whiskey
&
Nebula
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Thank you for the input and the link! It´s much to think about and I will of course keep that in mind. :)


If they never get along better than they do now, then so be it. They can even be left alone as long as there is enough space in the room. Maybe with age, they´ll be warmer to each other but time will tell. :)


Thank you again!
 

abababa

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May 15, 2020
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Nobody can ever be completely sure what goes on in a bird's mind, but as an educated guess:

Nebula has bonded with you. In her mind you are her soulmate.

Whiskey arrived, and was interesting to Nebula. Then Whiskey started competing for this pair bond (either as Nebula's mate, or yours), because Whiskey has no mate of her own.

Nebula is fiercely loyal to you, and is aggressively rebutting Whiskeys advances; or is seeing Whiskey as a competitor for your affection.

There is a lot of bad literature/advice on having 1 vs 2 lovebirds. 2 is not better; 2 is what you do if you're breeding and/or are ok with them interacting with each other instead of you.

Unfortunately what you can do to (fairly reliably) make them get along, is forgo any ambition of a close human-parrot bond, and allow them to bond to one another, by showing no interest in them. You should still let them out every day, and make food available, but don't interact beyond that. Fundamentally, a lovebird wants to bond with a single soulmate - they can be human or avian. They will be incredibly affectionate with them. Three is very much a crowd, though.
 

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